Friday, January 2, 2009


"I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:"

Ok, we feel better now.

While all that is true and "Network" is a brilliant movie:
Miss Vero must confine our self to little ole Vero Beach. However, we must confess, it was initially the sentiment of the character Howard Beale that got us bloggin along in the first place. And so, that is exactly what we did, we got up and stuck our head out of the cyberspace window and started shoutin about all the things in Vero and Indian River County that made us mad, glad but never indifferent.

And along the way, we found others who were happy to stick their heads out and do a little shout out with us. Then there are the folks who read us silently every day, the people obsessed with finding out the identity of Miss Vero and the small, yet highly paranoid, percentage who think we have some kind of diabolical agenda.

We did have some fun in 2008. Hearing that PJ Editors and Russ Lemmon sat around in a serious conference trying to figure out little ole Miss Vero was high-larious. Surely a big time newspaper wouldn't be frettin over a silly ole blog. Would they?

But, as an example, our post about our time on the set of a Paul Newman movie (Oct. 1st, "While We Were Out") and our picture with Mr. Newman, sure was a whole lot better than the story the PJ ran:

And we were especially amused by Diana Foote, the so called, food critic of the PJ, who had us squeal with laughter when she considered wearing a fur to lunch in Vero. It didn't take too much time for our giggles to turn to disgust when we realized that this person would actually own a fur, that we caught her "lifting liberally" from another writer (May 22nd "Paid to Plagiarize?"), that she considered "eating Eeyore" in her imagination and then saw fit to share that thought. In print: And that her editors see nothing wrong with sending her to the Olive Garden and allowing her children to tag along on the dining dime, is equally unforgivable.

If the PJ wants to slap their ubiquitous "we're looking out for you" sticker on something, why not let the food critic budget go to groceries for a deserving family for a week? One of the nicest thing a loyal Beach House fan did for Miss Vero was to create a widget for, so that we could get a glance of many opinions of all the great restaurants in town. Brilliant - and thank y'all so much, Mr.Mark Landry.

So yes, we had our issues with the Press Journal, especially Mr. Russ Lemmon as the designated driver of Indian River County opinion. Poor Russ, with no sense of humor, it's like asking the nerd hall monitor to be in charge of the Prom night after party. But thankfully, we have our own Mr. Max Newport, who y'all know had a varsity letter and was captain of the debate team, to antagonize Russ. See? It's true, sometimes high school never ends.

Along the way, we did find those who kept their sense of humor. Our big surprise includes Mr. Milton R. Benjamin of verobeach32963, an inspiration as well as a gentleman. And, Mr. Rhett Palmer, who we totally disagree with, on oh so many levels, yet the man makes us laugh (again, on oh so many levels). Besides, what Southern belle could ever resist a man named "Rhett"?

Of course, this was a political year and local politics gave us a heck of a lot of material. Let's not forget, that the PJ picked and chose which stories to tell us, about which candidates they were influenced by. Yup, the tradition of good ole bubba politics was well honored in our local races. Just ask Kay Clem. Oh and Tom White. Did I forget Bob Solari? Did Debbie Mayfield resign yet? Is Jeff Barton retired? How Claudia Jimenez and Kevin Sawnick squeaked in, we'll never know. We suppose Charlie Wilson is not the political powerhouse he professes to be and all that posturing in Paladin's Hummer, was just a good ole boy's joy ride after all. We also suspect, that the PJ's unjust treatment and reports of Mr. Ken Daige, lead to the continued installation of the scissor toting Mr. Tom White (said scissors recently relinquished to the new mayor, Mr. Sabe Abell).

Were we surprised to see the Dodgers pack up and go, not to be replaced? Nope. In fact we got word from an incredibly reliable source and told y'all in our Nov. 9th post "Would Y'all Like Another Scoop?".

Piper laying off workers? If you've lived in Vero Beach longer than Russ Lemmon or for that matter, longer than some politicians, you'd know that this was inevitable. In fact we mention this in our very first post April 30th, "A Blog is Born".

So yes, we could continue on and on about the past, but that is not to our liking. No hunnies, Miss Vero never looks back, as fun as it may be and as much as we luuuuuvvvvvvv to say "we told y'all so!", Miss Vero would like to focus on the future, so here it is...

Miss Vero's Beach House will continue to let folks speak about what is on their minds and will initiate conversations that our local newspaper seems to overlook. It is Miss Vero's sincere belief that we are not "bullying" the local media, (as, we can only assume, we are being referred to in comments on Mr. Lemmon's ironically titled column "Crystal Ball Sees Mundane 2009), rather we are proddin them to actually do their job.

We do want the Press Journal to do well, that's the point, we want to be proud of our local paper, as we once were. We want to talk "over the fence" with our neighbors, we want to reminisce about old Vero and give newcomers an appreciation and welcome to everything we love here, so that they may feel a connection and ownership, so that they understand the local politics, so that they are informed about their own futures, so that they value the fragile nature of our environment (AND HERE IS WHERE WE GIVE A HUGE THANK YOU TO LDOUGLAS). But without discussion, without presentation of factual information, without inclusion, it cannot be done.
Oh, and by the way, if y'all are newcomers, please leave that "when we lived back in blah, blah, it was better than Florida..." attitude at the door. Y'all wake up, cause Y'ALL LIVE HERE NOW, ADAPT.

Instead of trying to predict the future, Miss Vero would like to have hope for the future of our local newspaper. We'd like to work toward the future of citizen journalism and we'd like to have a goal for the future of more diverse contributors and guests at the Beach House. Because we realize (and we are constantly being told), that our little blog is a big thing around town and gettin bigger - folks now look for us everyday, cheer us on and support us in many ways. We feel that we now have a responsibility. It isn't about selling advertising or building a business, it's about sayin what what needs to be said, reporting things that wouldn't make it near the main stream (Like our personal favorite - Drag Queens!) and in a more serious vein, asking questions that should be answered by our local media and government.

Perhaps, somewhere along the line the "news" turned into police reports and advertising editorials, but when people of any community allow this to happen, they are silencing themselves. Instead of standing up and going to the window as it was done back in 1976 (and, we have to admit, that speech is still timely), it's time to sit down at the computer, open "Windows" and shout out, "WE'RE MAD AS HELL AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"

Miss Vero did, and it feels real good. So let's build a bigger Beach House in 2009! Everyone's welcome, even Mr. Lemmon.

Come on in, sit and stay awhile, pour yourself a cocktail, but don't take yourself too seriously...

P.S. Our #1 New Year's resolution is to answer our emails in a more timely manner. So if any of y'all wrote to Miss Vero in the past month or so (yes, we know how bad that sounds), expect some correspondence this weekend. Really.


Jeremy W. said...

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"
As I read that line, Jimmy Buffet's song "Fruitcakes" came to mind. He yells those exact words in the song.

He also says this bit of wisdom in the song:
"...human beings are flawed individuals. the cosmic bakers
Took us out of the oven a little too early. and thats the
Reason were as crazy as we are and I believe it."

So whether you believe it's the Cosmic Bakers or the Original Sin to blame for humans being so imperfect(depending on your belief system), you still have to love Buffet. Sometimes he just puts it all in perspective. Just like you Miss Vero!

LDouglas said...

Wow! Bravo! What a lot of things to say Miss Vero. Nice that the hard pinch of reality (or was it a kick?) was tempered with an anesthetic of hope. I like the inclusiveness your calling for at the Beach House. (Did you know that's an underlying part of the green economy?)

I'm glad too that you appreciate the environment and allow me the opportunity to share mine. I happen to appreciate the Press Journal for that as well. They also do a good job on printing matters related to our health.

(I loved seeing this on New Year's Day:

But yeah, I could use less police reports. Especially when no-one's safety is at stake. And I'm always up for the truth. No matter how ugly or hard it is.

Keep up the great work. We do appreciate your efforts immensely and your sense of humor even more. Here's a quote that's in a book I'm reading (The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones) to give you some vinegar for your veins when yours runs low.

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things" Niccolo Machiavelli

And if that doesn't do it for you, I learned this little gem (on TCPalm) today:

"Illegitimi non carborundum" It's "a mock-Latin aphorism jokingly taken to mean "don't let the bastards grind you down". :-)

LDouglas said...

And see- there are song titles or lyrics for just about everything...

But what a crazy song that is. I suppose the rum was a little strong in that particular fruitcake.

Anonymous said...

Miss Vero, surely we must all feel a little sorry for Mr. Lemmon. He suffers from an extreme case of megalomania. A novelty and endearing at first, his excessive preoccupation with his own self importance is slowly wearing thin on PJ readers. I hope that one day Mr. Reisman realizes that Lemmon's writings are a public display of his mental illness, which is probably a case of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). I really don't mean this in a bad way, but Mr. Lemmon is badly in need of clinical help.

Max Newport said...

This is to allay any suspicion that I somehow wrote the previous anonymous post. Remember that I promised to be nice to Russ awhile back, unless he needs a little adjustment. The poster thought Russ was endearing at first. My first reaction to dear Russ and his waste of space in the newspaper contained profanity.

Who am I to criticize a man with a mental illness. I suffer myself from a rare disorder known as O.Y.S., which I will tell you about on Monday.

Miss Vero, keep up the good work. I see that your membership has doubled since I published my ugly mug (and it took me months to figure that out).

Anonymous said...

Max, I would never try to impersonate you but I must protect myself from the stalkers we live amongst.

I often wonder why Mr. Reisman hired Mr. Lemmon. His writings are just about as entertaining as his personality, which can be compared to a cardboard box.

At a Chistmas party a little birdy told me that Mr. Lemmon's obsession with Miss Vero could very well put him in the stalker category. Everyone remember the bunny boiler scene from Fatal Attraction? I can hear Mr. Lemmon screaming now......I will not be ignored Miss Vero!

Anonymous said...

Russ Lemmon and Reisman have research on the LoPresti ripoff of tax dollars, and the silence is deafening. That is just one example of the deafening silence regarding any word on abuse of tax dollars and tacit agreement to allow that abuse. Another economic development ripoff, which is actually the basis of Bush's baseball fortune and phony empire.
At the moment, when you blow the whistle, no one hears it.
Congressional, Senate, Governor,or Commission, noone hears it. There are now government agencies, that have laws on the books, corporate largesse funded laws that are blatant conflict of interest and the result of that junket funded. Welcome to the newest banana republic, I opened the window and it is scary.
I am yelling an noone is hearing!

LDouglas said...

I didn't have a bad reaction until about Mr. Lemmon's tenth column. That's when I developed my very first conspiracy theory. I was sure he was hired by the CEO's at Scripps to do nothing more than brainwash us into clamoring for more growth. 9 out of the first ten columns had some mention of growth, sometimes quietly but always pro-growth.

I figured it had to be a conspiracy because I couldn't understand why someone would immediately push for bigger upon moving to a smaller community. The thought that helped me through it was reminding myself that his is an opinion column mixed with tidbits of news- and everybody has the right to their opinions.

If Scripps are the population growth mongers that I perceive them to be, they're being punished for it. We've had growth but that growth either lacks the education and/or the finances to buy newspapers. Too bad our local paper, the good guys/gals behind it and the people who rely on it or enjoy it, has to suffer with them.

Anonymous said...

LDouglas, right again, I called him, when he first arrived and found that there was noone there. My very distinct impression is a match for yours. It was as if there were daily meetings on what the agenda was and he was the schill for growth, development and the network of boys who have played here for a long time and you do not cross them. The column was so obvious, in its slant on "pick a subject" Piper, IRNA, Wheeler, Charter, and so on.
The information they have, that they do not go there, is the antithesis of journalism. The paper has become nothing more then announcements, and ads.
The Sebastian airport has now run afoul of Fish and Wildlife, keep tuned, they are trashing the conservation concept, and facing serious if you know where to ask questions about running roughshod over a Federal program.
Remember the kids at the elementary school who bought the land and Wesley got some feel good points out of it, well, while you are not lookin, Sebastian is playing fast and loose. Airport development appears to be running right over it. Griffin and Minner are workin resumes overtime. No laws or rules are the name of the game of economic development and the very lax oversight of city council and probably the Chamber, turning a blind eye to what they have been sold as the economic engine called aviation, look where Piper is, on that one.

Michele said...

Oh my, I just stumbled upon this blog and yelled to my husband "your not the only one". We have a very local blog here up north and to read your words was like reading my husbands words over a month ago. Amazing!

Keep doing what your doing because if they are taking notice you are pushing buttons that are in need of pushing.